Kendal Leonard is a fashion designer and entrepreneur with a line of sustainable organic cotton bridal gowns and dresses. She fell in love with organic cotton in a previous role training refugee women from the mountains of Vietnam how to create and sell textile products. “To me, cotton is a luxury fabric. If you think of the nicest sheets you can buy, they’re cotton.”
Kendal gives back to the community by teaching sewing classes. She says, “It’s important to me to pass on my enthusiasm for making things. You have pride in what you create.”
What does it mean to be a progressive leader?
“Do what you do well. Be excited about it and share it with others. Help others figure out what they want to do and excel at. It’s not running around doing one hundred things. It’s doing what you do best and helping young people get inspired in the community.”
What does Leonard hope for Charleston’s future?
“I’m a product of public education and I would like a strong curriculum broadened for a variety of children’s interests. More encouragement and support to help small businesses find affordable locations.”
“Traveling—growing up in a family of six in Chapel Hill, we would go on month-long camping trips. Nature—every little petal and leaf looks so well thought-out. It’s inspiring. Fashion—I like clean lines. Construction is what matters to me, and I want the fit to be comfortable.”
“Gardening. I spend the most on plants. If it’s a plant, I can justify it.”
“Opening a design studio outside of my home. Hopefully in the next six months.”